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C/O Tom and Kaye Assenmacher
Box 32, Kinsale, VA 22488
EMAIL: a37ioa@sylvaninfo.net

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October 8, 1998

News from Members

Gregory and Martha Schurch report that they are involved in another cosmetic project on DESTINY, a 1968 yawl. Currently all the deck hardware has been removed and they plan on painting the deck and hull along with replacing all the hardware with cast bronze. Greg is looking for information regarding bow anchor rollers constructed either of stainless or wood. If any owners have any pictures or ideas, please contact Greg. (Ed. Note: We have seen several custom fabricated stainless rollers, along with several wood fabricated items. Several years ago, we slightly modified a WindLine URM-1 stainless bow roller that bolts to the original aluminum stem casting. This installation is used with a 35# CQR, and seems to work well, although it’s appearance is not as nice as a custom installation.) Greg is also looking for any information regarding a replacement for the 27" hatch over v-berth. Suggest you check out one of the good boating supply catalogs, such as Defenders, for Lewmar or Atkins & Hoyle hatches, or you could fabricate one out of teak and Lexan.

David and Joyce Lahmann (SHE 'N I) recently spent some time in Washington state and visited Vancouver, BC, however, because of time constraints were unable to look up any A-37 owners in that area. They recently had to replace their old furling gear with a new Harken system and are also looking for a mast furling system for the main. If anyone has any recommendations for a main furling system, please give them a call at (319) 882-3023.

Lou and Jean Wayne cruised PIKA from Rochester, NY to the Thousand Islands area, through the Bay of Quinte, and back in August. They experienced lovely weather and a fairly steady 20 kt breeze. They did not encounter any other A-37s, but did have a very robust beat to weather in a 30 knot breeze with 3 A-30s.

We’ve been in contact with Brian and Kathy Marsh all summer. They brought TUNDRA back into the Chesapeake this summer after wintering in Florida and the Bahamas. They have done considerable refitting of TUNDRA during the late summer and early fall at the York River Yacht Haven, near Gloucester, Virginia. They have replaced the old VOLVO MD-11C engine with a new 3 Cylinder Yanmar, which makes for a very nice installation in the A-37 They modeled their installation after that of Marcel Steinz’ installation in SOUTHERN CROSS (several other A-37s have this engine/transmission). Other work included doing away with the galley sink over the engine and adding a new deep sink adjacent to the galley stove, installing a new 12 volt refrigeration (holding plate) unit, rebuilding the head, and numerous other interior projects. Brian also completely replaced all of the standing rigging with 9/32 wire, using StaLok terminals. Kaye and I visited Brian and Kathy one Sunday afternoon back in mid September while they were in the throes of all this work, during which Brian and I made up several new shrouds. I had never worked with StaLok terminals before, and they are quite easily assembled. Brian and Kathy lived aboard while on the hard while all this work was being done. Brian promises to provide us with a list of suppliers that they used during their refit, as he found some "real deals" in rigging and engines. They have subsequently completed most of the work, and have moved TUNDRA up to our dock in Kinsale in early October, where they will leave her while they attend their son’s wedding in Vancouver, BC. They plan for a late October departure for points south. Truly a remarkable and most cheerful cruising couple.

Roger and Linda Gilmore report that their 1987 yawl, TALISMAN, is going strong during its 12th season out of New London, CT. Their cruising has been limited recently, however they planned to do some cruising in the Cape Cod area this summer.

Pat and Bill Shrader wrote that they had put their yawl, PAT-SEA up for the winter over the Labor Day weekend as they had planned a tour of Italy in mid September.

John Bax recently sold IMMUNITY to Stewart Clatterbaugh of Hagerstown, MD. Stewart plans to keep IMMUNITY in the Baltimore area. We hope that Stewart will join the A-37 IOC.

Dwight and Carol Kraii, who recently sold their A-37 and now have an Albin 36 trawler, write that they now have a condo in Miami Beach. They enjoy both the area and the trawler very much and invite members who desire to know more about that area to contact them at (305) 674-8351 or email at dkraaib@worldnet.att.net

Peter and Susan Boyadjian write that Peter had the misfortune to run INIA aground in Lake St. Francis in Quebec, on his return from the Newfoundland Flotilla trip last year. Peter took the opportunity of having the propeller opening enlarged to take a 16 x 13 three bladed prop, (replacing a 13 x 18 three bladed prop) while the pintles and gudgeons were being repaired.

The engine is an MD-11D Volvo 2 cylinder, which developed a cracked cylinder head on the Newfoundland trip, which was replaced by a new part flown from Vancouver. The work took place in St. Pierre, in the islands of St. Pierre and Miquilon Islands (French possessions just off the south coast of Newfoundland.)

While the rudder was being repaired, the engine was removed for a general check up at which time, the following was done:

1. The mechanical fuel pump was replaced by an electric pump, with a return line to the fuel tank for excess fuel, thus eliminating bleeding problems, as the pump circulates fuel when the "ignition" switch is turned on. Also, the fuel in the tank can be circulated through the filters and Racor water separator, although he uses a Topsider vacuum pump and tank to periodically vacuum the fuel tank thus preventing a buildup of sediment and water.

2. A hose and cock was secured to the engine sump oil port and brought forward to the battery compartment, where Peter can use the above mentioned vacuum tank to draw off used oil, instead of using the dipstick port. (Ed. Note: we did the same on SHEARWATER years ago, and it really cuts down on the oil change mess.)

3. Their A-37 MK-II had two sinks, one at the foot of the companionway steps. This has been removed and replaced by a solid board that acts as a firm step on the counter. The board is easily removable so that the top plug on the forward cylinder head can be removed easily by an Allen wrench and the oil replenished cleanly and easily (Ed. Note: 2 cyl. Volvo engines owners know what we are talking about), without having to struggle to get into the engine compartment to use the oil filler port.

4. The oil filter port has been modified and a hose brought forward to the top forward end of the engine, where the oil filter can be screwed and unscrewed through the forward stem/engine hatch. The new filter bracket now holds the filter upright and so avoids spillage, or the necessity of using a plastic bag when removing the filter, which previously was on its side.

5. The fuel filter has been brought forward and is located on the starboard bulkhead in the engine compartment, where it stands free of the previously intruding bracket which prevented other than Volvo filters being used, because of size differences.

The above changes leave only the water pump at the aft end of the engine, the accessibility of which was improved by the removal of the quarter berth bulkhead. (Ref. Vol. III No.2 newsletter).

Because of the increased torque of the new prop, Peter reports that great care has to be taken in going astern out of his slip.

Jack Meehan called in late August from Boston stating that he was looking for crew to help him take SERENITY south for the winter. We contacted several members but at last contact with Jack, he was still in need of crew.

Wayne Bower (TEELOK) is currently putting the finishing touches on his new hard dodger. Wayne built a female mold, and laid up the dodger using a fiberglass, and urethane foam sandwich. Wayne had some photos of the dodger in work, and it looks good. He had a trial fit just before the rendezvous, and hopes to complete the project this fall. He has agreed to donate the mold to the association (We plan to store the mold in my shop in Kinsale), so anyone who wants to try their hand at fiberglass lay up is welcome to the mold.

1998 A-37 Rendezvous

Looks like hurricanes Bonnie and Danielle may have scared off a few folks from attending the 1998 Labor Day Rendezvous. Nevertheless, TEELOK (Wayne and Sherrill Bower) and Solskin II (John and Becky Long), along with our boat, SHEARWATER were in attendance. We did have good participation from friends and drive-in’s on Saturday and Sunday to help us eat a bushel of steamed crabs, freshly caught from the Hampton Hall Branch of the Yeocomico River. Driving in from the York River Yacht Haven were Brian and Kathy Marsh (TUNDRA) (along with fellow cruisers Heather and Murray Rand) who are doing a major refit before returning to the Bahamas and other points south later this fall. Also driving in were Charlie, Amy and Katie Frasher (DOLPHIN). New member Otis Davis drove down from Long Island, NY, just to look at some A-37's (he’s presently looking for a good A-37), and liked what he saw.

The consensus of the members present was that perhaps we should move the annual rendezvous to a time later in the fall to escape some of the hot Chesapeake Bay weather which normally abates toward the end of September. We also discussed holding the event in the upper part of the Chesapeake, perhaps near the Annapolis MD area, which would allow cruisers a chance to attend the annual Annapolis Sailboat Show, which is normally held in early to mid October. More on these ideas as the year develops. We would like to hear from your ideas and comments too.

Other News

Alberg 37

A dream boat circa 1970 and 1995

By Paul Howard

(Excerpts from a previously published article on Canadian Yachting’s world wide web page http://www.canyacht.com/reviews.html)

The Alberg 37 was designed by Swedish-born Carl Alberg (1900-1986) for Kurt Hansen's Whitby Boat Works. In total, 248 of these boats were built between 1967 and 1988; the MK-I model from 1967 to 1971 and the MK-II until the late-'80s.

With long overhangs and a pleasing sheer, the 37 is an unmistakably classic design. Although first built as a racer/cruiser, the Alberg is now known as a traditional cruiser with medium-heavy displacement performance. During the early '70s the AL-37 was actively raced in SORC and other offshore events, but today is only occasionally seen out PHRF club racing.

Below the waterline the forefoot is cut away at the forward end of a relatively short keel. The large, raked rudder is attached directly to the keel. Low topsides, a long and narrow cockpit and a well-proportioned coach-house are other distinct features of the Alberg.

I recently spoke to Doug Stephenson, a former sales agent for Whitby Boat Works from 1981 until the factory closed in 1988. Now a broker at Bay Harbour Yachts in Midland, Ontario, Stephenson described the differences between the MKI and MKII. "On the Mark II the toe rail was changed from wood to fibreglass. Hansen also incorporated a dodger splash-guard into the deck mould. The port lights were also elongated and fewer opened. But the largest change, from a construction point of view, was the addition of a moulded floor support and liner to replace the wood that was there in the MKI. This made the boat more durable and also decreased production time." Other modifications to the MKII included a more efficient use of interior space, allowing for a larger head and galley, as well as longer berths.

During the '70s the Alberg was considered a boat-show "dream-boat" by Canadian sailors in the boat market. At the time, the yawl rig was especially coveted for its graceful silhouette. A good part of the 37's strong reputation comes from its strengths as an ocean-crossing vessel. I know of one circumnavigation made by Mike Phelps of Florida, but there are bound to be others who have logged the trip as well. Mike completed his seven-year global tour on hull #42, built in 1968.

A March '82 article in a U.S. sailing magazine speaks of how the Fowle family sailed their Alberg 37, Arion, from Massachusetts to Ireland, weathering the famed Fastnet gale. They described the usual thrills and chills of a first-time ocean crossing with mandatory descriptions of towering seas and their fright as they watched the anemometer register gusts of 76 knots.

While in New Zealand aboard Lorcha during a circumnavigation with my wife and two children, we met a Vancouver sailor single-handing his Alberg on a proposed circumnavigation. He told us of how he became stranded on the coral near the entrance of Palmyra Atoll in the North Pacific for several days. A poor spell of navigation meant he entered when the angle of the sun made it hard to read the coral reefs surrounding this uninhabited atoll. As the boat settled on her bilge, this hard-luck sailor was forced to throw away thousands of dollars worth of charts, books and spare parts to lighten the hull. His Alberg 37 pounded for three days before the tide rose high enough to float her off. He then sailed to Tahiti, several thousand miles away, before he made repairs to the port-side bilge! But as a testament to the structural integrity of the Alberg, his boat never leaked. When we saw her after her repairs a few months earlier, she appeared not to have had suffered any serious damage.

James Hiller of Southfield, Michigan, had a new Alberg 37 built for him in 1982, one of only 42 built in the '80s. During a visit to the factory, Hiller surreptitiously pinched two core samples left over after the shop had cut the through-hull fittings in his new boat. He sent these cut-outs to a testing laboratory, presumably to check up on the quality of his nearly completed hull. When the report came back it read in part, "both specimens are excellent and represent state-of-the-art glasswork."

Although strong and solid, the Alberg 37 was not intended as a luxurious racer/cruiser. Indeed, her interior is relatively modest, almost Spartan, in fact, with square corners and no fancy woodwork. The boats were built for a reasonable base price, but individual owners could add options if they wished.

The Alberg is narrow and small by today's standards, with a beam of only 10 ft. 2 in. and a waterline of 26 ft. 6 in. Whitby Boat Works offered the boat with a number of different engines but the 23-hp Volvo MD2D and the 27-hp MD11C were the standard for most years. A 40-hp Westerbeke 4-107 was also a heavy-duty option.

With some of these boats nearing their 30th birthday, most need some work. Anyone considering purchasing a 37 should budget for anywhere between $10,000 and $25,000 for the refit. There are, however, many well-loved boats on the market that have had their sails and equipment upgraded over the years. Others are structurally sound but are rough cosmetically. These sell for under $40,000, while well-cared-for examples are often listed at upwards of $65,000. I have been aboard several boats where some of the bulkhead and floor tabbing (the fibreglass tape that attaches a wood bulkhead or stringer to the fiberglass hull) has lost its adhesion. As well, I have noticed that the decks sometimes need repair around the stanchion bases. On older models the hardware, hatches and port lights may need to be removed and re-bedded to stop drips and leaks. Rabaska, owned by Hank Boorsboom, is the first boat people see when they motor through the gap at Bluffers Park Yacht Club at the base of Scarborough Bluffs. "She is on the end of the first dock at the club," says Borsboom. "I love having her dark blue hull out there. Nearly every visitor that comes through the gap comments on 'that beautiful traditional boat."


LOA 37'2" ft.
LWL 26'6"
Beam 10'2"ft.
Draft 5'6" ft.
Displacement 16,800 lbs.
Ballast 6,500 lbs.
Sail area 646 sq. ft. sq. ft.

Welcome to the Following New Members

Tom Ellison of Victoria, BC is the owner of DURHAM LASS (#79), a 1970 sloop. DURHAM LASS is homeported in Esquimalt, BC. Tom had previously owned an A-30.

Wendy and Henk DeVries of Beaconsville, Quebec recently purchased the 1973 yawl PAWBEE, # 118. They are doing some minor refurbishing including replacing all throughhulls and gate valves, rebuilding the rudder gudgeons and pintles (with bushings). Henk mentioned that in the 4 times that they had anchored PAWBEE, she had drug 3 times using a 35 lb. Danforth plow, and was wondering what anchor rigs other members might suggest. (Ed. Note: we almost exclusively use a 35 lb. CQR plow with about 60' of 5/16" chain along with about 200' of 3/4" nylon rode. We’ve never had any problem, and most of the time only use part of the chain). Henk, in another letter, decided to use an all chain rode and also has purchased a 35 lb. Bruce.

Henk also seems to have discovered a discrepancy between the Hull Identification Number (HIN) molded in the stern and the manufacturers plate that is under the companionway. Seems that the molded HIN is 371211173 (which really doesn’t make sense) and the stamped plate has the correct HIN of 3773118. Does anyone else have this discrepancy?

Henk has shared with us his fix to remedy the backlash between the rudder pintles and gudgeons, and the pin and rudder shoe. We’ve included Henk’s drawings and repair proceedures. (Ed. Note: Years ago, when we owned an early A-30, the pin at the bottom of the rudder (similar to the A-37 rudder), which had originally been about 1/2 inch, had worn down to about 1/4 inch, which could not be repaired by use of a bushing. We had to cut the pin off, drill and tap for a inch bold, and cut the bolt to proper length. Strangely, the hole in the rudder shoe (which is similar to the A-37) appeared not to have been worn very much).

Al Peckenpaugh of Trumansburg, NY recently purchased a "derelict" A-37 sloop, GYPSY LADY, hull # 4, for $4000. Al is looking forward to getting her home and beginning the refurbishing. Looks like an interesting story in the making, and we expect to hear from Al as the work progresses. Al plans to keep the boat in Ithaca.

Otis Davis of Long Island City, NY, who drove down to the rendezvous in September, and while not owning an A-37 (yet), liked what he saw and is actively looking for an A-37. We hope Otis finds the "right" boat.

Todd Stebleton of Ormond Beach, FL owns COPPERHEAD, a 1967 sloop (Hull # 17). Todd keeps his sloop in Halifax Harbor, in Datona Beach.


We recently ran across some more interesting cruising/sailing web sites:

For you ham operators:

Image Communications such as Facsimile, Wefax and Slow Scan TV (SSTV).


The Packet Radio Home Page


Communications Bookmarks


For the rest of us:

Maritime Telecommunications Information


Hurricane/Tropical Data for Atlantic


Atlantic Sail Traders (New and Used Sails)


SailCare, Inc. (Sail Reconditioning)


Sails (kit & finished), canvas supplies, rigging, hardware, kits, tools, sewing machines, sunbrella, dacron, sail cloth etc.


Bob's Hot Boating Tips


Good Old Boat Magazine (We’ve mentioned this site before, but it deserves mentioning again. This new magazine hopefully will be a success and needs our support, as it is well written, and pertains only to older boats).